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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Serosurvey for selected pathogens in Iberian roe deer

Mariana Boadella1, Tania Carta1, Álvaro Oleaga14, Gerardo Pajares2, Marta Muñoz3 and Christian Gortázar1*

Author Affiliations

1 IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain

2 Asociación del Corzo Español (UCM), Madrid, Spain

3 Conselleria do Medio Rural, Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

4 SERIDA, Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, Laboratorio de Sanidad Animal, Gijón, Spain

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BMC Veterinary Research 2010, 6:51  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-51

Published: 16 November 2010

Abstract

Background

The roe deer is the most abundant and widespread wild Eurasian cervid. Its populations are expanding and increasingly in contact with livestock. This may affect the distribution of infectious diseases shared with other wild and domestic ungulates.

Methods

We investigated the antibody seroprevalence against Pestivirus, Herpesvirus, Bluetongue (BT) virus, M. avium paratuberculosis (MAP), and Brucella sp. in 519 roe deer from different regions in Spain, south-western Europe.

Results

No antibodies were detected against BT and Brucella sp. However, antibodies were detected against Pestivirus (1.5%), Herpesvirus (0.2%) and MAP (9.2%). MAP antibodies were detected in seven of the eight populations (range 5-16.4%).

Conclusions

The detection of MAP antibodies in samples from most roe deer populations suggests that contact with MAP is widespread in this wildlife species. The highest prevalence was detected in sites with abundant dairy cattle and frequent use of liquid manure on pastures. Considering the results obtained regarding exposure to different pathogens, we suggest that antibody prevalences in this non-gregarious browser are largely determined by environmental factors, potentially modulating vector populations or pathogen survival in the environment.